City fans may be familiar with the song ‘Blue Moon’ but this week could see both club followers and the rest of Manchester break out into the well-known tune due to a celestial occurrence. As we reach the end of August, another super moon is set to appear in the skies, however this one is pretty rare and emerges “once in a blue moon”.
If you’ve ever wondered how the saying came about, it just so happened to be named after the unique celestial phenomenon where we get two full moons in one calendar month or the third of four full moons in a season. The second full moon in a month (or third of the season) is called a Blue Moon.
While it may be called a Blue Moon, if you look up at night you’re not likely to see any shades of indigo, unless there happens to be unusual sky conditions like dust or smoke. A full moon nearly coinciding with perigee means that for several days around this time, could see a change in tides withlow tides unusually low while high tides will run unusually high.
When can I see the super blue moon?
The super blue moon is due to be visible in the sky on August 31 at 02:35am here in Manchester.
What is a supermoon?
Supermoon describes the celestial event that sees the colliding of both a full moon and the time when the moon is at its nearest distance to Earth on its orbit (when it reaches “pedigree”). The visibility of this occurrence tends to happen during full moons due to the moon appearing far bigger and brighter when it is at this stage.
A full moon occurs every 29.5 days when the moon completes its lunar cycle, however this rare super blue moon is pretty special as it is the second full moon in a month. On August 1, a super full moon occurred and on July 3, we saw a Buck Moon take to the skies.
When are the next full moons in 2023?
The other full moons in 2023 are:
- September 29: Harvest Moon
- October 28: Hunter’s Moon
- November 27: Frost Moon or Beaver Moon
- December 27: Cold Moon
When are the next supermoons?
After a slice of lunar love this year, the Super Blue Moon will be one of the last Supermoons this year (Harvest Moon is the last) and the last Super Full Moon until September 18, 2024. Next year will see space buffs pulling out their binoculars multiple times in order to catch a glimpse of a series of three super new moons.
Supermoons can also occur in the opposite part of the lunar month, at New Moon, as well as Full Moon. The first super new moon will take place at on February 9, 2024, the other two on March 10 and April 8.
Super New Moons, like any other New Moon, are usually not visible from Earth, but the Super New Moon on April 8, 2024 will in fact be visible and is one to look out for. It will pass in front of the Sun and create a spectacular total solar eclipse.